Community and political representatives have welcomed the entry of a major new overhaul for Irish Street into the planning system.
Derry City Council’s Environmental Directorate has newly submitted an application for a new car park, path network, grassed terrace area, street furniture, landscaping, upgraded MUGA, fencing, surfacing and new fenced in play area, with the planning office.
Niree McMorris, a member of the Irish Street Community Association and Chair of a sub-committee set up to develop play provision in the area, says she’s hopeful planning permission can be secured by Autumn with shovels on site, potentially, by Winter.
The extensive works will take place on a phased basis over the next few years right across the centre of Irish Street in the block bounded by Dennet Gardens, Bann Drive and Mourne Drive.
But Phase One - a play park at the corner of Dennet Gardens and Mourne Drive - is first on the agenda.
Ms McMorris said: “We are hoping that planning permission can be approved by September and then work will be able to start by December or January.
“We are just waiting for a letter of offer from the Department of Social Development (DSD) but £300,000 has been earmarked for Phase One, which is the play park and we’re hopeful of progress soon.
“It’s something the area’s been waiting on for 50 years and we don’t foresee any problems.
“We’ve had a community consultation and the residents are right behind the plans and the Housing Executive have been down and they’re happy with it so we’re looking forward to shovels on site hopefully in December or January weather permitting.”
Waterside Councillor Hilary McClintock also welcomed the proposal saying the DUP have been very supportive of the plans.
“It is great to see this proposal moving forward,” she said. “I am currently in discussions about an upgrade to Rossdowney playpark and have been leading on the proposed new playpark for Drumahoe.
“I have a meeting organised with City Engineers about providing play provision in three other areas in the Waterside.”
Councillor McClintock is a member of the play partnership in the city and is heavily involved in several proposed playpark schemes.